terra sigillata

[ sig-uh-lah-tuh, sij-uh-ley-tuh ]
/ ˌsɪg əˈlɑ tə, ˌsɪdʒ əˈleɪ tə /
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Origin of terra sigillata

<New Latin or Italian, explained as “earth (i.e., earthenware) with incised decoration” (see terracotta, sigillate), but apparently originally an adaptation of an earlier and Medieval Latin name for Lemnian earth (a clay mineral used as an astringent), perhaps associated with the pottery because of its red color
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for terra sigillata

terra sigillata
/ (ˈtɛrə ˌsɪdʒɪˈlɑːtə) /


rare a reddish-brown clayey earth found on the Aegean island of Lemnos: formerly used as an astringent and in the making of earthenware pottery
any similar earth resembling this
earthenware pottery made from this or a similar earth, esp Samian ware

Word Origin for terra sigillata

from Latin: sealed earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012